On the Waterfront, or, The Smell of Discovery

Today's post is by College Park processing archivist Alan Walker. True story: Thursday, March 28 was shaping up to be a typical day. I had before me a cart’s worth of boxes full of case files from the Department of Justice that needed to be listed for a spreadsheet of “temporary” files to be disposed. These … Continue reading On the Waterfront, or, The Smell of Discovery

Enforcing the Voting Rights Act

On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. While this was a major milestone in ensuring that no one could “deny or abridge the rights of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race and color,” violations of individual voting rights still occurred. Acts … Continue reading Enforcing the Voting Rights Act

How the West was Won: Marshal Dake, the Earp Brothers, and the Tombstone Shootout

On October 26, 1881, a 30-second gunfight became the stuff of legend. Today marks the 130th anniversary of the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral, and to commemorate the occasion, Katie Beaver, a summer intern in textual processing, wrote the following post. One of the most well-known stories of the “Wild West” comes from Tombstone, Arizona: … Continue reading How the West was Won: Marshal Dake, the Earp Brothers, and the Tombstone Shootout

Elections and Connections: The Appointment of Phoebe Couzins, the First Female Marshal

Today's post was written by Katie Beaver, who spent her summer interning with textual processing. The latter half of the nineteenth century is notorious among American historians for shady and tumultuous politics, particularly during presidential elections. The U.S. Marshal Service during this time was charged with monitoring polls on election days to ensure that the … Continue reading Elections and Connections: The Appointment of Phoebe Couzins, the First Female Marshal

The U.S. Marshal Service and The Supreme Court

This post was written by Katie Beaver, a student intern working with civilian records.  It is a follow-up to A few good lawmen and is based on documentation found in  "Appointment Files for Judicial Districts, 1853-1905." The American South was a particularly tumultuous area after the Civil War and during the occupation of the U.S. Army. Slaves became … Continue reading The U.S. Marshal Service and The Supreme Court

Deputy Marshal v. Deputy Marshal

This post was written by Katy Berube, a student intern working in civilian processing.  It is a follow-up to the post A few good lawmen.  Documentation for this post can be found in the series "Appointment Files for Judicial Districts, 1853-1905." As guns unloaded into British subject and cattle investor, John H. Tunstall, in the … Continue reading Deputy Marshal v. Deputy Marshal

Fun with OPA

A couple of weeks ago I overheard a converstation between some colleagues discussing OPA.  “Try finding it in OPA,” one said.  They went on to discuss OPA functionality and benefits and use.  I assumed OPA was one of those things above my pay-grade about which I did not need to know.  As it turns out, … Continue reading Fun with OPA

If I Was in Charge…

We want to hear from our researchers!  Here’s your chance to tell us what record groups you would like to see us working on…if you were in charge! In the last few years, the archivists working in the Textual Archives Services Division at Archives II  have been involved in several large-scale processing projects.  Archivists working with … Continue reading If I Was in Charge…

FOIA: The Other “F” Word (Accessing FBI Records)

Today’s post is written by Dawn Sherman-Fells, a processing archivist who works with civilian textual records. Are you one of the many who believe that FOIA is truly a “four letter word”?  Understanding the Freedom of Information Act can be daunting, frustrating -- intimidating, even.  Here I will share a few tips that will hopefully facilitate a better understanding … Continue reading FOIA: The Other “F” Word (Accessing FBI Records)

The Octopus

Today’s post is written by Alfie Paul, a processing archivist who works with civilian textual records. On an August day in 1991, the body of free-lance reporter Danny Casolaro was found dead in a Martinsburg, West Virginia motel bathtub by two maids.  Ruled a suicide, Casolaro’s death was just a small piece of a larger … Continue reading The Octopus